Restaurant and bar Boo Coo will open in Soulard in February
“I just felt like it was time Soulard needed something new,” said owner Nikki Westhoff, who has over 20 years experience in the local restaurant industry, most notably at the now-closed Humphrey’s. The pandemic gave Westhoff a chance to pause and think about her dreams. “My husband really was encouraging me for the past two years to try and do something like this for myself, and the opportunity presented itself, oddly enough, because of Covid.”
Boo Coo will offer traditional Southern foods – such as fried cauliflower, chicken pot pie, and various burgers and sandwiches – with a rotating assortment of food and drink specials. Many ingredients will be from local markets and vendors, including coffee from Café du Monde. Westhoff’s self-taught cooking has been a huge hit with her friends and family, and she’s confident it will please anyone who visits Boo Coo. There's also a full bar featuring some local beers and spirits.
A mother of a 13-year-old, Westhoff is looking forward to giving back to the community that gave so much to her family when her daughter Olivia was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013. “My daughter is a cancer survivor, and there were a couple of charities here in St. Louis that really, really took such great care,” she said. “Friends of Kids with Cancer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation – I'd really like to do something to benefit them, you know, pretty much once a month. We want to do anything we can do to give more awareness and donations.”
The roughly 4,000-square-foot restaurant offers two floors of seating, along with a patio, and is more casual than the previous fine dining the space offered before at Oaked, which closed in late 2019. Sports memorabilia decorates the building, making it a perfect stop for avid sports fans and anyone looking to catch a game on a dozen TVs and two projectors. The second floor is available for private parties and features a balcony Westhoff plans to use for live music and events such as seafood boils and chili cook-offs.
“My main goal is to make everyone feel at home here where they can come in by themselves or with a group, watch some games, throw some darts, play some Golden Tee and, you know, just feel at home,” Westhoff said.
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